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Adventures of A+Ok |

The Adventures of A+Ok: one minute they’re mountain climbing the Bavarian Alps. The following, they’re hanging out with reindeer in Finland. They’ve additionally biked 500 miles throughout Iowa, kayaked within the Pine Barrens and slept underneath the Northern Lights in Canada’s Northwest Territories.

They don’t have a present on the Journey Channel, and so they’re not associated to Rick Steves—Adam and Kathryn Frazer are merely a married couple who, together with their pup Kona, spend their days touring the world, sharing their journey on the Adventures of A+Ok web site and YouTube channel.

It began again in 2016, when Kathryn unexpectedly misplaced her job, kick-starting a transfer to Seattle the couple had been contemplating. “Earlier than we lived in Seattle, we didn’t do a lot,” Kathryn says. “We didn’t hike, we didn’t journey, we didn’t actually go wherever.”

The beginnings of Adventures of A+Ok

Transferring to the Pacific Northwest woke up a dormant love for the outside: mountain climbing, tenting, street tripping. By 2019, they’d determined to purchase and construct out a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van (enlisting Kathryn’s dad for help) so they might go wherever they needed for so long as they needed with out having to return to their house. They’ve been on the street roughly ever since.

The life appears to be like enviable, whether or not the trio are galavanting via Glacier Nationwide Park or mountain climbing considered one of Alabama’s 4,200 caves, and in some ways it’s. Their travels have taken them to 49 nationwide parks and all 50 states, plus 12 international locations. (The van, which they’ve lovingly named “Brisket,” stays stateside for these adventures, which have included a wintertime keep on a personal island in Finland and a motorcycle journey via Vietnam.

However it’s not all the time straightforward or excellent, and that’s one thing the couple are upfront about in sharing their life on the street. “One of many issues I needed to study that was onerous for me is simply being adaptable,” Kathryn says. “This life-style is so unpredictable.”

Behind the scenes isn’t glamorous

There’s plenty of un-glamourous strategizing—to not point out onerous work and lengthy hours behind the wheel—that goes into main a 24/7 van life: The place are we going to sleep tonight? The place are we getting our water? How are we doing laundry? These are simply among the questions Adam and Kathryn should juggle on a day-to-day foundation.

“I feel individuals assume we stay a trip life, and that’s just like the furthest factor from the reality,” Kathryn chuckles. Even the cash is unpredictable from month to month, after which there are occasions when their residence on wheels wants repairs, one thing they’ve needed to get useful at.

Adam and Kathryn say they’re fortunate that their pre-van life careers utilized to operating Adventures of A+Ok. Earlier than they began touring full-time, Adam was a trainer, and Kathryn labored in occasion advertising and marketing. Right now, he will get to teach viewers and readers all about profiting from their travels, whereas she will apply her picture and video enhancing prowess.

However there’s additionally been an amazing studying curve on the enterprise aspect of issues, with all the things from constructing the web site to doing taxes. “With YouTube, we needed to learn to create higher movies, learn how to edit them, what are the very best practices,” Adam explains. And in terms of the journey guides, “We didn’t know a lot about search engine marketing or learn how to write content material in a approach that may be greatest for what somebody’s trying to find.”

As of late, greater than 186,000 subscribers observe the Adventures of A+Ok on YouTube, the place the movies have a enjoyable and easygoing tone that’ll thrill followers of upbeat journey reveals like Any person Feed Phil or Rainn Wilson and the Geography of Bliss (or sure, Rick Steves’ Europe). In different phrases, there’s no manufactured drama right here—only a real enthusiasm for far-flung and unsung locations—and there’s actually no snobbery. They deal with locations like Oklahoma with the identical pleasure and respect they provide locations like Florence or Venice.

So what does work-life steadiness seem like for a pair (and canine) whose life is their work and vice versa? Nicely… there’s actually no such factor. “That’s our everlasting battle,” Adam says, including that they’d like to get to a spot the place they will take a break day every week—and even simply at some point a month.

Managing the web site and YouTube has been the Frazers’ full-time gig for the final a number of years, and so they’re adamant that it is a dream. However most nights they work till 7 or 8 p.m., then they stand up and do it once more the following day. Most weeks, they don’t take a break day to relaxation and calm down and recuperate. There’s all the time miles to drive, video to movie, content material to jot down and edit, pesky reporters to e-mail again and chat with.

“You must prioritize [time off], and that’s one thing we haven’t prioritized, if we’re being sincere,” Kathryn says. “Whenever you’re self-employed, it’s onerous to cease working as a result of you recognize while you’re not working you’re not creating wealth.” This yr, they’ve talked about taking it simpler on themselves by touring slower, spending just a few days in a single place slightly than dashing on to the following location.

Logistics of life on the street

Adam and Kathryn love the life they’ve made, however in case you’re somebody who must know what’s happening from everyday, the type of one that lives and dies by their calendar, “Don’t do that,” Kathryn laughs. Even on the times when all the things goes “proper,” there are just too many curveballs and variables to reckon with.

But when the van life does attraction to you, the duo agree that it is best to give it a attempt. Simply possibly attempt renting one first and giving it a go for just a few weeks or months.

The van has proven them that journey doesn’t should be costly or concerned—among the greatest instances they’ve had are spent tenting or trying out state parks and nationwide forests or cool little cities that in any other case by no means would have been on their radar. They nonetheless take into consideration the time greater than two years in the past once they drove as much as Alaska after which continued on to the Arctic Ocean. It’s recollections like that one which make all of the unpredictability and chaos value it.

“Even on the darkest of days, it’s like, I could possibly be sitting at a desk in an workplace like I used to,” Kathryn provides. “Attending to expertise so many various locations, particularly whereas we’re nonetheless younger and in a position and we are able to nonetheless hike and our well being is nice—it’s simply the very best factor on the earth.”

Photograph credit score: Adam and Kathryn Frazer

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